Treading her familiar themes of nostalgia for an idealized American past, “Love” sees Del Rey reflecting on the concept of youth through the experiences and feelings of her fans.
She muses on how the youth of our generation (and even herself) still maintain a sense of wonder and empowerment in the face of adversity, due in part to the romanticized idea of love and affection driving them forward.
Del Rey wrote about the song on her Instagram:
I wrote up there, it really does come down to love and the intentions behind the music. That’s why this is the perfect first single, because this one is for you and I luv you.
First recorded in April 2016, “Love” was officially registered in mid-January 2017 under the name “Young And In Love” (referred to as “YAIL” by fans in the weeks leading up to release).
Following a series of small snippet leaks in early February, the track was leaked in full on the 18th of the same month and was subsequently rush-released onto digital platforms the same day.
Prior to the leak and final title confirmation, several posters promoting an unknown project titled “Love” began appearing in Los Angeles, causing fans to speculate whether or not the track previously known as “Young And In Love” had been renamed and was being released as a lead single.
The confusion followed a past conversation between a fan and Del Rey in which she stated that “Love” was merely an album track and not the lead single to her fifth studio album.